Round and round I go....

"Gosh," I told the woman standing next to me just before the elevator started moving. "I thought I parked my car on a floor below."  "Oh," she said. "There's no floor level under us...this is street level and that's where we are!"

Well, okay. So I spent the next 40 minutes looking for my car.

I was in San Francisco for a meeting today. I was ready to come home after thinking hard about what I had heard during the 4 hour blitz of ideas, and protocols, and procedures.

Okay. I was sure I had driven down the ramp. But, maybe...well, I just believed what the woman said. Maybe I dreamed about driving down the ramp.

The parking lot I was in was a complete maze to me. And that made me amazed. This was a whole city- block-long parking lot. I went by most every car on the second floor. No luck. I went up to the third floor. No luck. I went up to the fourth floor.  Nada, zip, nothing.

I felt like every person that was walking to their car or driving their car, knew exactly what I was doing...searching for my car. Thank goodness I didn't cry. I felt like it, though.

Okay...I knew I wasn't the first one to get lost in the amazing 'un'maze in the lot. All the cars lined up in long, straight rows: two on the edges, and two down the middle. I thought maybe I should just wave to the folks who were just shaking their head at me.  Keep smiling, I told myself.

Several times I thought I saw my white Toyota over there, over here, anywhere. But when I went to look at the license plate...none of the vehicles said CADEAU (French for gift). A couple of times I saw the car across the way...only to find out it was a Mercedes or BMW (they all had similar wheel rims on them, or so I thought).

Okay...I went back to the check-out counter on the ground floor and told the attendant I couldn't find my car. He was so kind, and treated me so sweetly. He sent a guy on a bike to find my car. He looked at my ticket, which I had already paid for. I knew I had already exceeded the 15 minute period that the ticket was good for, once I paid for my parking. Bummer.

Then he said the magic words: "You parked in the basement!" YES! I knew it! I wasn't crazy! And I asked if I owed anything more because I was lost. "No charge!" he said.

And as I went down the elevator..I knew exactly where my car was and walked right to it. The looked like a true gift to me.

Well, those 40 extra minutes caused me to sit in traffic for more than 90 minutes as I moved at crawl speed down Mission to 1st Street.

I made it home. But now I have to look at the car manual to figure out how to stop the Ms.Lady from talking about navigating, while I'm talking on the hands-free phone in my car.

Live richly, and take the bus, BART, ferry to SF and back.


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